Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Post 142   by Gautam Shah

Corridors are formal transfer zones in buildings, but sometimes passages get formed with intense movement conditions between two points. Corridors are architecturally articulated built forms, whereas passages are marked or delimited sections. Corridors and passages are distinguished by barricades, flooring differences, sensorial markings, graphics and signages.

Meenakshi temple Corridor Madurai India Flickr image by Jean-Pierre Dalbyra
 A corridor as a built form is highly a formal entity and it is difficult to breach the discipline, but passages have no formal structure, and can be overstepped. A corridor is a passage, but a passage needs to be well modulated to become a corridor. A corridor without the traffic, will still remains a corridor, but a passage without movement just merges in the surrounding space. Corridors are more formal then passages, but passages allow greater public participation, and so ceremonial.
Corbet's Couloir -a ski run or passage Wikipedia image by Enricokamasa

Alleys, arteries, aisles, channels, lanes, couloirs (narrow passageway on a hill), tunnels, paths, lobbies, vestibules, avenues, all have one common element: a linear passageway. A labyrinth and maze, are entwined passageways, where the former one ‘has a single path -unicursal, reaching the centre; and the later is a complex branching -multicursal puzzle, with choices of a path and directions’.

Labyrinth Chartres Cathedral Wikipedia image by Maksim
Corridors and Passages, as transfer systems in buildings are well defined and functionally supported by other systems. Such transfer systems become ineffective, if design definitions are improper, have inaccurate capacities, or lose the validity due to the changed circumstances. When a transfer system becomes ineffectual, many other systems in the building become useless.

Books in Corridor Pixabay image by Unsplash

Corridors, are defined or recognized as passageways, connecting a point to point location, or several ones on the way. Corridors are defined by architectural features, distinctive materials and environment, sensorial recognition of their existence, signage, and preference for the shortest and easiest access route.

Corridors originate at points of transfer such as doors, other branch corridors, stairs, elevators etc. Corridors also occur where conditions for superior and efficient transfers are available, such as: shaded or protected areas, finer floorings, smoother gradient, pleasant surroundings, promise of fulfillment, expectancy, escape from hazards.

Passage Junctions Pixabay image by ujeans

Straight corridors provide a very efficient mode of transfer, but tend to be monotonous. Straight corridors allow continuous acceleration, which may pose problems to other transferees. Corridors with zigzag or variable movement directions heighten the expectancy. Circular or curved corridors tend to align the movement concentrically. Bidirectional movement corridors increase the social interactions among the users. Multi directional and multi velocity movements destroy the character of a corridor.
Main hall Brussels railway station > Wikipedia image by Saber68

Corridors are heavy movement areas, compared to many other spaces used for casual transit. Corridors, due to heavy traffic create environmental interference of noise, vibration, dust and spread pollutants and infections. Corridors enhance the fire hazards and security risks; however, if properly designed, may curtail such risks. A straight corridor can be policed from one point, but so an intruder (terrorist) also can command the entire corridor.

In complex buildings variety of work spaces, each with specific environment and controls are required; corridors as buffer zones isolate such spaces. Corridors create an intermediate or equitable zone of transfer for all such connected units. Corridors provide a strong cohesive identity among apparently very unrelated cells.

Main committee corridor Westminster London > Wikipedia+Flickr image by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

 Corridors are ideal, if without any encumbrances, like cross passages, doors, and architectural transgressions (projecting out or receding in). But very long corridors, such as at Airports and underground metro services, without intervening interests become boring. Corridors are common utilities, so have several services attached to them, such as, toilets, drinking water fountains, fire fighting systems, emergency exits, air handling units for air-conditioning systems, seats, electrical mains, bulletin boards, exhibitions, first aids, security checkup systems, food and beverage dispensing systems and signs. A Tirupati temple (India) corridors are also used by devotees as a place to sleep, rest, eat, bathe and pray during the long wait for the Darshan.
Parikrama around Girnar Mountain Gujarat India > Wikipedia image by Nileshbandhiya
The word Corridor derives from Italian Corridore =place or space to run, which in turn has derived from correre or Latin currere='to run'. By association courier, meant a man or horse who could run to deliver messages, money or documents. Italian word corridoio is a place, or rather space for the courier (man or horse) to run.

Ponte Vecchio and Vasari Corridor from Galleria degli Uffizi > Wikipedia image by JasonF007

From later part of 16th C. Corridors were strategic spaces or routes of access in fortifications. Couriers and corridors were used for quicker deliveries by the military. It had military ramifications for defence or offense, but very little civilian relate. The space for a faster messaging, the corridoio was not a marked territory or a facilitated ground within a fortification or dense urban setting. It was simply a familiar-well travelled precinct. In late 16th C it denoted a military term for a narrow strip of land along the edge of a ditch or fort-wall sometimes protected by a parapet. It was also a narrow passageway along the slope of a hill and sea. Trails are marked passageways but in the wilderness. Trails are so narrow that most vulnerable or unafraid ones lead the way, and others must trail.
Secret passage between Vatican and Castel SaintAngelo Rome Italy Wikipedia image by Patnaik+ Alessio Damato

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